Alesund, Norway is one of the most beautiful small cities in Europe. The setting is picture-perfect, and much of the architecture was redone in 1904-1905 in Art Nouveau style, due to a fire that burned down the previous wooden structures. The Art Nouveau murals in the town church deserve to be better known.
This time around, Norway seems vaguely affordable. The food is “good enough,” especially if you like cod. Dark chocolate ice cream is hard to come by. Driving to the puffins takes 3-4 hours, though they are not always to be seen.